On Friday, Aug. 17, the Wellington High School football team traveled to Boynton Beach High School for a preseason match-up and bested the Tigers 21-6 after a slow start.
Wellington, hampered by five turnovers in the first half, still maintained a 7-6 lead at the halfway point. The Boynton Beach defense picked off the Wolverine quarterback three times.
Stand-out running back Mark Antony Richards led the second half surge to put the game away for the Wolverines, but he had a lot of help. Richards had 146 total yards, with 111 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“Two TDs are a good start, but next week I’m aiming for better,” Richards said. “Offense has a lot to work on, but that will just come from putting in extra work.”
Receiver Adrian Hector had four receptions for 60 yards. Running back Lakevious Simmons rushed for 39 yards.
Wellington got the wheels rolling near the end of the third quarter when the offense capped a four-play drive with Richards breaking tackles en route to a 30-yard touchdown. Kicker Morgan Suarez sent the point-after attempt through to lift Wellington 14-6 with just over a minute remaining in the third.
The Wolverines worked to get the ball back on offense by recovering an on-side kick attempt, which gave them favorable field position, and an opportunity to deflate the Tigers, but they could not convert the possession into points as the third quarter came to a close.
Midway through the final quarter, the Wolverines extended their lead, when Simmons darted off on a 27-yard run to set up a five-yard scoring pass from quarterback Matt Shannon to Richards in the corner of the end zone. Suarez added the point after, and Wellington sat on a 21-6 advantage until the final whistle.
The Wolverine defense was equally devastating to the Boynton Beach offensive unit. Linebacker Jadien Durant and defensive end Stephen Passeggiata combined for 10 sacks, making it nearly impossible for the Tiger offense to muster any threat of closing the margin. “Each week me and my teammates get better,” Passeggiata explained. “This game went as planned, and now it’s time to take care of business week by week.”
The Wellington offense totaled 290 yards with three scores in the midst of five turnovers on the night. Shannon completed 6-of-8 through the air for 73 yards and threw for one touchdown.
“The turnovers hurt us,” Wellington coach Tom Abel said. “We were feeling our way through everything in the first half, and our defense responded very well. We have to keep the kids positive every day.”
Wellington will host crosstown rival Royal Palm Beach High School on Friday, Aug. 24 for the first regular season game.